• A monologue from LADY WINDERMERE’S FAN

    LADY WINDERMERE’S FANA monologue from the play by Oscar Wilde

    MRS. ERLYNNE: Believe what you choose about me. I am not worth a moment’s sorrow. But don’t spoil your beautiful young life on my account! You don’t know what may be in store for you, unless you leave this house at once. You don’t know what it is to fall into the pit, to be despised, mocked, abandoned, sneered at–to be an outcast! to find the door shut against one, to have to creep in by hideous byways, afraid every moment lest the mask should be stripped from one’s face, and all the while to hear the laughter, the horrible laughter of the world, a thing more tragic than all the tears the world has ever shed. You don’t know what it is. One pays for one’s sins, and then one pays again, and all one’s life one pays. You must never know that.–As for me, if suffering be an expiation, then at this moment I have expiated all my faults, whatever they have been; for to-night you have made a heart in one who had it not, made it and broken it.–But let that pass. I may have wrecked my own life, but I will not let you wreck yours. You–why, you are a mere girl, you would be lost. You haven’t got the kind of brains that enables a woman to get back. You have neither the wit nor the courage. You couldn’t stand dishonor! No! Go back, Lady Windermere, to the husband who loves you, whom you love. You have a child, Lady Windermere. Go back to that child who even now, in pain or in joy, may be calling to you. God gave you that child. He will require from you that you make his life fine, that you watch over him. What answer will you make to God if his life is ruined through you? Back to your house, Lady Windermere–your husband loves you! He has never swerved for a moment from the love he bears you. But even if he had a thousand loves, you must stay with your child. If he was harsh to you, you must stay with your child. If he ill-treated you, you must stay with your child. If he abandoned you, your place is with your child.



    A monologue from the play by Henrik Ibsen

    RUBEK: When I first found you … I knew at once I would make use of you for my life’s work. You were what I required in every respect. I was young then–with no knowledge of the world–and I thought that The Resurrection would be most beautifully rendered as an innocent young woman, not yet corrupted by life, awakening to light and glory without having to put away from her anything ugly or impure. [Pause.] You have said that I cannot expect you to be the same woman I knew all those years ago. Well, I am not the man I once was either, Irene. In the years that followed your departure, I became schooled in the ways of the world. My vision of “The Resurrection Day” evolved–became more … complex. Your solitary, unsullied figure no longer expressed my conception, and I … I made modifications. I looked at the world around me … and I had no choice but to include what I saw. Women and men as I knew them in real life. At the base of the sculpture, I created fissures in the ground, and from this hell-mouth, there are now men and women with dimly-suggested animal faces, swarming up around the child, pulling her down as she tries to rise up into the heavens. I had to include myself, you see. I had to put a little bit of myself into the girl–that glorious figure who can’t quite free herself from this earth–who reaches with her hands for the heavens, for perfection, tortured by the knowledge that she will never attain her goal, never escape, that she will remain forever imprisoned in this … this hell! [Pause.] I am an artist, Irene. And try as I may, I shall never be anything else.